One day, it would be nice to have to talk about color-ism. But its significance is ever present in our society.
I was touched by a recent article in Glamour magazine in which Lupita N’Yongo confessed she was once told she’d never find a husband because of her dark skin. Indeed, the relevance of this issue, which I bring up in the life of my female heroine, Emmy Hughes, in the fantasy/romance novel The Last King, has such a long history in our society, that I doubt it will ever go away.
Here is just some of what Lupita had to say in the article:
“European standards of beauty are something that plague the entire world — the idea that darker skin is not beautiful, that light skin is the key to success and love. Africa is no exception.”
“When I was in the second grade, one of my teachers said, ‘Where are you going to find a husband? How are you going to find someone darker than you?’ I was mortified.”
“I remember seeing a commercial where a woman goes for an interview and doesn’t get the job. Then she puts a cream on her face to lighten her skin, and she gets the job! This is the message: that dark skin is unacceptable. I definitely wasn’t hearing this from my immediate family — my mother never said anything to that effect — but the voices from the television are usually much louder than the voices of your parents.”
And it goes on and on and on…
You can read more of Lupita’s interview when the issue hits newsstands on November 11. In the meantime, here’s a look at Lupita’s stunning cover.